If you are new to blogging, you should think about buying a premade theme instead of a custom design. There are a lot of beautiful themes out there, but finding the right one can be a bit overwhelming. Here are 5 tips to help you choose a premade blog theme that’s perfect for you:
1. Consider your content
Before you decide on a design, you have to consider your content and how it can be displayed in a practical way. Make a list of what you want and don’t want in a theme. If you are just getting started, look at similar blogs and list the things you like and must have.
For example, if you have a photography or travel blog, you will probably want a theme with a wide content area or one without a sidebar. A business owner might look for a theme that comes with a widgetized front page.
Thinking about your content will help you a lot when it comes to choosing a design.
2. Find a design
Obviously, the way a theme looks is very important, but before you buy the theme with the prettiest logo, you should consider if you want a design or one that you can alter.
If you’re not a graphic designer, you should choose a theme that’s already styled, one that lets you add your name or logo and be done with it.
Do you want to customize it, but don’t feel comfortable editing the code? You should look for a theme that has a premade settings panel. There are many themes that let you pick fonts, colors, or add your own graphics. Some designers also offer minor customization at a small price.
3. Google the theme or the developer
Did you find a nice theme? It’s time to see how it works. There are many themes out there that don’t work as they should. To make sure you don’t buy a faulty theme, you should look at reviews or even take a peek at the developer’s site. Most designers/developers use a theme made by themselves. Try to look at the functionality of the site, and at the other themes they offer.
Most themes are uploaded on demo sites. These sites let you see how the theme looks and works. Check for any errors, and make sure they are responsive.
4. Check the terms and conditions
Some designers only let you install the theme once. Others don’t want you to make changes to the theme. Look through the terms, and if you don’t find what you are looking for, send an email to the designer.
5. Make sure there is support
Does the price of the theme include installation or do have to do it yourself? What about support? Will the theme be updated? You can find all this info in the product description area, or you can even ask the designer. It’s very important to receive answers to your questions when you install or modify the theme yourself.
Not everyone offers free support. Many designers might charge you by the hour and this will probably cost you more than the theme.
Where to find premade themes
There are a lot of places where you can find great themes. These are my favorites:
Etsy: There are a lot of good looking Blogger and WordPress themes on Etsy, but you should know that there are also a lot of amateur designers there. Anyone can sell on Etsy, so check the designer’s site and the reviews before you buy.
Creative Market: This is a place for mouse-made items and the designers have to go through a review before they open a shop. You can find hundreds of beautiful WordPress and Blogger themes.
StudioPress: StudioPress is the maker of the Genesis Framework. This is used by many designers (such as myself) to make child themes for WordPress. Genesis is a premium theme that is SEO optimized and mobile friendly.
Before you buy a theme that looks good, consider your content and the theme’s functionality.
Do you use a premade theme?